News

Office supplies giant adds robotics to fulfillment network

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Staples is making a bold move to modernize its supply chain.

The office supplies giant is adding a robotic material handling solution across its network of fulfillment centers. Designed by Great Star Industrial USA, LLC, the automated robotic storage and retrieval system incorporates two types of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) into a unified system that brings both high and low cubic velocity items to a single pick and pack station.

This technology is called the first to combine these separate solutions into an integrated system. The flexibility of this integrated solution requires less capital investment than traditional material handling systems, and is designed to increase productivity and picking accuracy.

The AGV used for picking items with a low cubic velocity is adaptable to pick from existing industry wide storage mediums. It can retrieve up to five unique items per trip, lowering capital and drastically reducing robot tasks and travel.

Items with high cubic velocity are picked with AGVs that replace tradi-tional manual pick carts. The new system enables pick cells to be fed by multiple AGV’s simultaneously, eliminating idle time for the order pick-er. AGVs can place products directly into the pick cell and then leave for other tasks, increasing AGV utilization, according to the retailer.

“With Staples and Great Star each leveraging their strengths in design, engineering, and supply chain operations, we’ve rapidly gone from con-cept to production with a robotic solution,” said Mike Bhaskaran, Staples’ chief supply chain officer. “It incorporates concepts that have never been used before. In addition to rolling it out across the Staples’ network of fulfillment centers, we’re excited for its potential applications beyond these facilities.”

Staples has already started to utilize the new system in one of its key ful-fillment centers. The solution will be implemented across the entire net-work over the next 24 months, according to the retailer.

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Inland notches another Texas center

BY Al Urbanski

One of the most active acquirers in the retail real estate business has made its 292nd purchase in the great State of Texas.

Inland Real Estate Acquisitions announced the purchase of Denton Village in the town of the same name, situated 40 miles north of Dallas. The North Dallas region has been a hotbed of job growth, housing starts, and new retail development.

Built in 2016, the shopping center is located at 2341 Hickory Creek Road and is anchored by Sprouts Farmers Market. Other tenants include Pet Supermarket, Domino’s Pizza, T-Mobile, and Hollywood Nails.

”Denton Village’s prime location Denton, which is home to the University of Texas and Texas Woman’s University, added to the appeal of this necessity-based retail property,” said Matt Tice, senior VP of Inland Acquisitions. “It’s a prime example of the type of retail acquisitions we continue to seek out.”

Seller of the property was Disney Investment Group, which sold the 46,380-sq.-ft. Denton Village and the 12,198-sq.-ft. Midway Plaza in Texas for a combined $24 million, according to Rebusiness Online.


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PREIT’s version of ‘That’s Entertainment’

BY Al Urbanski

Dining and entertainment square footage continues to replace that of department stores in PREIT’s mall portfolio.

Last week the Philadelphia-based developer announced that it had signed leases to fill vacated Sears space at two of its properties. Five Below and an unnamed off-price furniture retailer will join Burlington in the former Sears at the Magnolia Mall in Florence, South Carolina.

At Capital City Mall in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, Fine Wine & Good Spirits signed a lease to join Dick’s Sporting Goods in the old Sears footprint.

This week, PREIT announced plans for entertainment expansion. The company claims that non-anchor space in its portfolio dedicated to dining and entertainment has increased by 36% since 2012.

All In Adventures, an escape room concept, has signed leases to open in Magnolia Mall as well as two other Pennsylvania malls — Viewmont and Willow Grove Park.

Tilt Studio has signed a lease to bring its rides, arcade games, bowling, and laser tag to Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News, Virginia, and Dave & Busters will do a 15% expansion of its location at Springfield Town Center in Springfield, Virginia.

“PREIT has added over one million sq. ft. of dining, entertainment, health and wellness, fast fashion and off price tenants, an increase of more than 70% of space committed to these tenants in five years,” said company CEO Joseph Coradino.

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